21:29 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Putin: Russia Ready to Work With Any Elected UK Prime Minister

    © AFP 2019 / TOLGA AKMEN
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    Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the current one, Jeremy Hunt have secured their places as the final contenders for Tory Leadership with the final vote taking place on July 22.

    Commenting on the current political race for the post of the Tory leader and the country's prime minister, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was ready to work with the elected prime minister.

    "We will respect the results of the elections and are ready to work with everyone, who is ready to work with Russia," Putin said.

    When asked whether he supports any candidate for this post, Putin said that he had no favourites.

    The president also called "strange" the system of prime minister election in the United Kingdom.

    "The only thing I would like to draw your attention to is that all the time they point their finger at us with regard to the democratic processes in Russia, voting rights and so on. The queen, as we know, does not solve any issues and performs formal duties of the head of state, while the prime minister has all powers. A prime minister resigns. Its Mrs. Theresa May now. How does a new [prime minister] get elected? Through a general election? No. It happens through a 'party get-together,'" Putin added.

    On UK-Russia Business Ties

    UK business is interested in expanding its presence in the Russian market, Russian President Vladimir Putin said expressing hope that there would be a relevant reaction from the UK authorities.

    "UK business wants to work and expand its presence in the Russian market. I hope that the political leadership of the country realizes it and will react accordingly," Putin told Rossiya 1 broadcaster.

    Relations between Russia and the UK are not up to the mark as in 2018 the British government accused Moscow of being responsible for the Salisbury poisoning, in which ex-GRU operative Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were exposed to what UK authorities claimed was the Novichok nerve agent.

    Russia has denied the allegations and has proposed its aid in the investigation - something which the UK refused to accept, as well as to provide samples of the substance allegedly used against the Skripals.

    Following the accusations, then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats. Russian authorities ordered the same number of UK diplomats to leave Russia, and for the British Council to cease its operations in Russia.

    In a most recent comment on the issue, Putin said that Russia and the United Kingdom needed to "turn the page on spies and assassinations."


    prime minister, Russia, U.K
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